Naomi's PhD ceremony

I have some smart friends, you guys. Naomi asked me to be the photographer for her PhD ceremony last month in the aula of the Academy Building at the University of Groningen, which is always a spectacular setting to photograph. Prior to the defense, which lasts exactly an hour and during which no photos can be taken lest the clicking distract the candidate, Naomi and her paranymphs - her husband Tom and her friend and colleague Steffie - hung out in the "zweetkamer": the sweat room. Naomi defended her doctoral thesis - "On the nature and origin of self-esteem: A complex dynamic systems perspective of nested self-esteem phenomena" - with confidence and aplomb, and I always enjoy "photographing" PhD ceremonies because I get to learn about academic fields which are often unfamiliar to me. Her work was fascinating, comprehensible for non-experts like myself, and her doctorate was well deserved. Congratulations, Naomi!

 

Inge & Helen's wedding day

These two are awesome. Inge and Helen are two of my favorite people on the planet and among a handful of people that I am willing to travel across continents to hang out with, which Elger and I just did last week when we visited them in Toronto. They got married at the spiffy, modern city hall of Lochem in the Netherlands on a bright blue day in May surrounded by their closest family members and a couple of friends, then had their reception in the back yard of Inge's dad's home in a nearby town. A couple of chickens and pigs were also guests at the reception, but they didn't exactly dress for the occasion. It was intimate, personal, warm and laid back - everything a wedding day should be. Congratulations once again, ladies, and thank you so much for letting me be a part of this beautiful day. 

Rebecca + Alain + all the boys

I love my friends, even more so when they're returning customers :) Each photo shoot I do with this growing family is more fun and nutty than the last, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Rebecca and Alain's third son will be arriving early in the summer, so we headed to the Prinsentuin during the May vacation week to let their little guys run around and for Rebecca and I to laugh hysterically as Alain chased after them. Thanks for another fun shoot, guys - and happy mother's day!

Hasse!

Two of my favorite human beings have done it again: they've just had their second child, a beautiful and very serene little girl named Hasse. I've been lucky enough to photograph these two and their growing family four times over the past five years, and I always love adding a camera to the mix of our interactions. They just love each other and make each other laugh, and I take some photos of them being themselves, and the results always make me happy. One of the photos from this shoot actually made me tear up as I was editing it - not because I'm such a spectacular photographer, but because the love between mother and daughter just came shining and radiating out of the frame so purely. Thank you guys again, as always, for letting me be the one to document your lives!

Noortje en Henk trouwdag

Vorige maand heb ik een mooie, gezellige dagje meegemaakt met Noortje en Henk. Ze spelen allebei in het orkest van Bragi, en toen ik lid was van het a capella koor vorige jaar heb ik Noortje ontmoet. Ze zijn allebei heel laid back en aardige mensen, en natuurlijk speelt muziek een belangerijke rol in hun leven. Ze hebben een trouweremonie op het stadhuis van Bedum gehad en daarna een receptie bij landgoed Ekenstein in Appingedam, en wij hebben genoten van het gebied achter het landgoed voor een paar portreten. Ze hebben een high tea gehad voor hun gasten compleet met een paar zelf gemaakte cakejes. Ik vond het heel leuk om deze dag door te brengen met hun!

Ian!

One of my best friends here in the Netherlands and her husband just had their second child - a boy (I would call him little, but he's a big guy!) named Ian, with gorgeous and unexpected red hair. I was lucky enough to take the newborn photos for their first child, Femke, too, so I had a fun chance to recreate a couple of shots from her shoot - plus a few before and after photos from Miranda's maternity shoot about a month ago. Miranda is one of the first people who really encouraged me to get into photojournalism ten years ago, so it's really special to be able to take these photos of her family for her now.

 

These first photos were taken around the end of January, and Ian was born on February 3rd.

This personalized box of the traditional Dutch muisjes was awfully cute.

The next couple of shots are diptychs of a recreation of a shot I took of Femke when she was born beside a photo of Ian.

Another special common thread between the births of both of these babies is that their grandmother was able to be visit the Netherlands from South Africa - the piano in the diptych above also traveled that route.

This was one last before and after I couldn't resist: Miranda and Ian at the piano. He's a little bit easier to see on the right :)

Nans, Rik and Mick family photo shoot

A couple of year ago, I saw a super fun local band called Hot Bobby at a charity concert I was photographing, and the band's lead singer really rocked - I loved her charisma. Fast forward more than two years later, and that awesome lead singer and her husband had a cute little boy, and their friends wanted to give them a photo shoot with me as a gift. I biked out to their house boat and we went for a walk in the nearby nature, and just laughed. A lot. Also, I took some pictures.

 

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Geelen family photo shoot at the Suikerunie

This was just a totally awesome shoot. IT ENDED IN A PILLOW FIGHT. COME ON! Meike found me through my good friend and regular client of mine, Rebecca, and I'm so happy she did. She and her family were so playful and fun, and we just spent a while running around inside and outside the amazing old Suikerunie factory in Groningen. Such fun :)

 Meike is a big advocate of baby wearing, and I liked how the wrap looked like it gave her wings in this shot with her little girl.

Meike is a big advocate of baby wearing, and I liked how the wrap looked like it gave her wings in this shot with her little girl.

 Oh hi, fashion models.

Oh hi, fashion models.

 And then, there was a pillow fight. Back in June, there were plans to host a massive pillow fight in the city center, but it wound up being postponed - lucky for us, the city decided to store the pillows in the factory. Oh yes.

And then, there was a pillow fight. Back in June, there were plans to host a massive pillow fight in the city center, but it wound up being postponed - lucky for us, the city decided to store the pillows in the factory. Oh yes.

Veldkamp-van der Werff familie fotoshoot

Ik voel me altijd gelukkig als leuk en aardig mensen mij vinden of online tegen komen en denken dat mijn stijl goed bij hun past. Zo was het dit familie - wij hebben een gezellig familie shoot gedaan bij hun thuis en ook in het Noorderplantsoen. See for yourself!

Michelle and Henk's ceremony in Tynaarlo

More international love today! Michelle is American and Henk is Dutch, and they had a short and sweet ceremony at the city hall in Tynaarlo in Drenthe. Michelle had a home-made crocheted bouquet, and Henk's sense of humor shone through as they were surround by family and friends on a gorgeous day here in the north!

Modern glamour shots, now featuring less stone-washed denim!

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Hooray for more fellow American collaborations! I met Candi last October during the TEDxGroningen event, and found out that she had actually already heard about me (since the international circle in Groningen is, in fact, one inch in diameter) while looking around for a photographer to do some updated professional photos for her. After months of weather thwarting our plans, we finally got together a couple of weeks ago at the CiBoGa terrein (which I continue to be obsessed with) in Groningen to do some photos for Candi to use in her upcoming projects - she's working on a memoir of her Sex in the City-like life before winding up in the Netherlands, and she's a party planner/designer/self-described "domestic goddess" with a soon-to-launch website. After I sent Candi the photos, she sent me back an article that the New York Times had just published yesterday about professional head shots not being something that's just for actors anymore - in other words, selfies don't cut it! Aren't we trendy :)

An ice cream cart and a gorgeous red Boretti oven inside Het Gasfornuis cafe made unexpected but serendipitously pin-up-like guest appearances, and Candi was just a great model to work with! To be totally honest, I'm still honing my portraiture skills, and probably always will be - and having a setting like the CiBoGa terrein and a subject like Candi really made me feel comfortable and confident. Thanks again for working with me, Candi!

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Stephanie and Thomas

More international love here in the North! Stephanie, who's British, and Thomas, who's Dutch, had a short ceremony at the city hall in the town of Meppel on the Tuesday following second Easter day (since the Dutch love making two holidays out of one as often as possible), and they wanted to have a laid back shoot along with their families in the nearby Wilhelmina park. I was happy to oblige! It was a fun morning, spent dodging aggressive geese and finding the prettiest trees in the park. Congratulations, Thomas and Stephanie!

New collaborations: Flytographer and Earlybird Foundation

I am so very pleased to share two wonderful new organizations that I am a part of! The first is an innovative concept called Flytographer, founded just a few months ago by Nicole Smith. The concept: families, friends, couples and individuals on vacation nearly anywhere in the world can hire a professional photographer to document their trip. It's a perfect fit for my photojournalistic style, and I'm happy to save travelers from selfies and well-intended but unreliable strangers. I've already done two shots for Flytographer in Amsterdam, the first of which was with Sara and Josephine, two best friends traveling through Europe together.

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The second is a non-profit called the Earlybird Foundation, a group of professional family photographers throughout the Netherlands who provide free photo shoots for families of premature babies. Although I am not a mom just yet, I understand how important it is to have pictures of your family members, and being able to provide the first professional photographs for families who are acutely aware of the value of those images is a privilege. I admire the importance, the sensitivity and honesty of the group. Not every pregnancy goes exactly according to plan, and the children and families in such a situation deserve to have some joy brought to them. I am proud and honored to be one of Earlybird's photographers.

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Jeroen, Karin & Alexander!

There is a major baby boom happening here in the Netherlands! Well, at least in my social group, which is wonderful first and foremost because more wonderful kids are entering the world, but also because I get to be the one taking all their pictures. I always feel lucky and flattered when my friends hire me to be their photographer, and this shoot was especially, well, special - I was Jeroen and Karin's wedding photographer three years ago (along with my fiancee Elger), and yesterday I got to take their first family photos with their adorable and already very loved son, Alexander. We all laughed so much throughout the shoot, and Alexander mostly slept through it, but it was so cool to see that this kid is guaranteed to have two of the coolest, nerdiest, sweetest and just all-around awesome parents possible.

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The beautiful, Japanese-inspired design on the left was created by the always lovely Anniek Olsder - Jeroen and Karin both love Japanese art, and wanted a design that reflected the summertime to use in their birth announcements for Alexander. To the right, some of the first congratulations cards from friends and family :) It got very strangely Disney very quickly.

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I love how serene Karin is in this shot. It feels like a stolen moment, like I wasn't ever there. That's what it felt like for much of the shoot, as they just loved on their little guy and I just happened to be nearby taking photos.

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And then it was playtime with hats and puppets. Alexander already rocks so hard. I can easily imagine that this will be a wonderful microcosm of his coming childhood and life with these two.

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The Little Prince

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Source: http://traciwhiteweddingsblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/dsc_8715editbwblog.jpg